By Matt Burns
Walmart bought Vudu 18 months ago and has slowly evolved the business. Vudu, like Netflix, is available on a number of set-top boxes, gaming systems, and media streamers. Users have access to 20,000 titles, including titles the same day they hit DVD, when used on one of these devices. The just-launched service puts Vudu streaming directly on Walmart.com for instant viewing. The Walmart.com service doesn’t seem to have access to the entire library, but there’s still a good chunk available and that might be good enough to make Netflix slow its roll.
This isn’t a subscription service. It’s on-demand with rentals available from $1 to $5.99 and purchases starting at $4.99. That’s the same way Vudu has always worked. Except this time it’s available directly on the website of America’s largest retailer.
This release comes just two weeks after Netflix hiked a popular plan by 60%. Vudu, even with a smaller library, has always been considered the main alternative to Netflix, and now it seems as if Walmart is ready to give it the proper support and placement to make it a true competitor.